One of the issues we are running into in this seller’s market is that offers from buyers are not always being presented to the sellers . . or sometimes we are not sure they were presented or sometimes they are not presented right away.
If a buyer makes an offer, even after the seller has accepted an offer that offer must be presented to the seller unless the seller had waived this obligation in writing.
When I represent buyers I sometimes ask that the seller initial the offer as an indication that he or she has seen it. The initials also give me proof to offer the buyers.
As a rule, offers should be presented quickly but there is no hard and fast rule about how quickly. We use terms like “timely manner”. In some situations that “timely manner” can be several days or even a week.
“Timely manner” can also mean right now. Some of our clients give the seller a 24 or 48-hour deadline. Giving a deadline can backfire too.
REALTORS are bound by a code of ethics which is an extra set of rules that dictate how we handle offers.
From the code of ethics:
- Standard of Practice 1-7
“When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/ landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented. REALTORS® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. REALTORS® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/19)”
The code of ethics only applies to REALTORS® and there is a complaint process. Anyone can file a complaint.